quick trip up to fairy lake

Saturday we went for a quick day trip up to Fairy Lake about an hour northwest of Bozeman.  We had heard it was pretty spectacular but we honestly couldn't have imagined what we encountered.  Unfortunately, that sentiment is a double edged sword.

George was very excited to go on a hike. He was so excited, he started fabricating "sightings" to ensure us he was excited about the trip up. I think he "saw" three owls (I haven't the heart to break the whole "nocturnal" thing to him), airplanes (C'mon George, do you think we were born yesterday), and horses (flat out lie).  George was really feeling the good vibes and wanted to ensure that we all had a good trip up, I think it was a little role reversal personally. George pacifying the parents with faux-sightings! So cute.

The drive was pretty smooth, but the last 7 miles are over a pretty bumpy, steep at times, dirt road.  I was thankful we were in a 4wd with a little bit of clearance.  There were a few climes where we were in first gear, cranking it up the hill.  Pretty intense. On our way out we pitied some folks on their way in, in... older looking sedans.  Tough road ahead.

Once we got to the parking lot we saw a sign that said "Fairy Lake, .5 miles."  We couldn't see the lake from where we were, so we honestly had no idea what to expect. Within a few minutes... this is what we saw:

It was absolutely breathtaking.  We made our way down to the Lake... and honestly couldn't commit to a place to set up camp without walking around the entire lake (it's pretty small, probably took us about a half an hour).

George walked the entire time, and couldn't resist popping in a few times to test out the water. It was chilly, but honestly I've felt colder water. It wasn't too bad. It was very warm day, and even at 7,000 ft I would guess that it was still in the mid 70's up there.

There weren't too many people around, and I was wishing that it was even a little more private so we could be as loud as we want without fear of looking stupid or scaring people who were fishing from the banks.  We even saw a couple floating in the middle on innertubes.  Pretty sweet.  To escape the heat we finally found a good place to take a dip.  Ashley went in first... and with little cajoling took the entire plunge.  Completely submerged.  This is no small feat as the water was very chilly.  As I've said a million times, Ashley loves adventures.

After Ashley went in, I took a plunge myself. It felt so good. Honestly we could've stayed until nightfall... if it weren't for one important thing I've neglected from this tale. If  you don't want the story spoiled... just stop reading now and imagine this heavenly place all to yourself.

Ok, for those of you that want the real scoop on Fairy Lake - here's the deal... It's gorgeous, I swear there has been no photoshop-funny business going on to enhance blues and greens. The water is as clear as advertised!

But there are flies out there.  Serious. Flies.  Huge, mammoth, man-eating flies.  By some miracle they weren't too interested in George's deliciously smooth skin, but they loved my ashy-pale bicyclists legs, and Ashley's too.  The flies honestly prohibited a prolonged enjoyment of this place. I don't know if simple bug spray would work on these guys, or what the deal was. But honestly, towards the end I was about to have a nervous breakdown.  Ashley can corroborate this part of the story.  I was about one more fly bite away from having a Dr. Leo Marvin breakdown.

So... we might go back next summer, armed with fly swatters and bug spray.  I'll probably need about that much time to cool down.  Other than that, it was a very fun adventure and absolutely gorgeous.


Serena Cherry said...

Bummer about those flies! They sound terrible! I love that it is called Fairy Lake. It does look like a fairy land up there! What can I say? Wish we were there.

david said...

us too serena... us too.

nomadic gnome said...

wow, looks amazing! the main thing i remember about jackson hole was all the huge biting flies. and the main thing i remember about fairbanks, AK was all the mosquitos. i can't stand when bugs ruin a perfectly good trip.
but seriously, that beautiful blue lake looks like it would make up for any amount of flying biting creatures. gorge.

My Many Coloured Days said...

We should have warned you! That was US last year. You have to read "Fablehaven" to get why it's called "Fairy Lake" in our minds. Beautiful though. Love that I found your blog, let me know if you don't want stalkers and I'll pretend I don't read it.

david said...

lovely to have any and all readers, unless of course you are a serial killer. then, please spare us from your spree.